Tag Archive | The Herb Lover’s Spa Book

Your Garden, Your Sanctuary

 Reprinted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:



Your Garden, Your Sanctuary

This is an excerpt from The Herb Lover’s Spa Book: Create a Luxury Spa Experience at Home with Fragrant Herbs from Your Garden (St. Lynn’s Press, 2015) by Sue Goetz

As a garden designer, I often hear people say their garden is their therapy.
They will work outside in the dark with a flashlight after a long day at work, just to have precious moments to dig in the dirt. It is amazing how a few hours of tending the garden will melt away a whole day of stress. The influence of a garden is written in history and long studied, whether you go back to Eden with Adam and Eve or study the history of medicine derived from plants.

There is much that can be said about how a garden affects us. It all but forces us into a patient tempo and away from the instant gratification that drives so many aspects of modern life. When we’re in the garden, there is no device that dings in our brain when time is up or a computerized sound to remind us to go somewhere. We plant bulbs in dark, damp soil, knowing the fulfillment will be months away. We push tiny seeds into the ground with a memory of the taste of fresh tomatoes off the vine. In the fast-paced life of today, we need to find sanctuary and healing therapy. What is at the top of the list? Planting, nurturing and being in the garden. We can toss aside the statistics about the popularity of gardening, and say that it is long-revered as a place to go when one wants to slow down and linger. There is simply something about nature that forces us to not be in a hurry. She is also a powerful seductress that keeps us always longing to smell flowers and gather herbs for tea, and crave the first fresh-picked raspberry.

Happy Gardening, Happy Relaxing!

The Herb Lover’s Spa Book invites you to unplug, relax and make the world go away. Herb gardener and spa enthusiast Sue Goetz shows how easy it is to grow and prepare therapeutic herbs for a nurturing spa experience in the comfort of your own home. With lavish photography and simple step-by-steps, she presents 19 fragrant herbs (such as Aloe vera, basil, dandelion, eucalyptus, hops, lavender, parsley, rose, sage, scented geranium, thyme and witch hazel) for your garden and over 50 herbal recipes for maximum pampering: lotions, soaks, teas, masks, scrubs, aromatherapy and more.
HAND AND NAIL BUTTER (perfect for a gardener’s achy hands)

Tension can elicit pain in any part of the body, but sometimes a massage to one area can release tension in another. If arms and shoulders are tense, the simplicity of a hand massage begins to soothe and release. Hand massage techniques can be done anywhere to help ease stress, especially after working outside or on a computer all day. This recipe is rich in natural waxes and oils to saturate the skin in herbal goodness. This is great as a fingernail and cuticle treatment. For an intensive overnight treatment, use butter on hands and feet, and wear socks and gloves to help seal in moisture.

2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons beeswax
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops rose geranium essential oil

What to do:
In a small saucepan, slowly melt cocoa butter and beeswax. Stir until well blended together and liquefied. Add grapeseed oil, stir well and remove from heat. Continue stirring until almost cooled down.
Add the essential oils, stir well and pour into jar. The mixture will harden slightly to a smooth, buttery texture. Use this within 3 months for best freshness.

Give this hand massage to a partner or friend: Apply a small amount of hand and nail butter to your friend’s hand. Support one hand with your fingers and begin to stroke the ends of the fingers, working each finger gently along the joints and fingers. Work your way up to the wrist with gentle motions, spreading the herbal lotion as you go. Then sandwich their hand between your own hands and draw away very slowly and deliberately. Repeat several times before letting go completely. Repeat the motions on the other hand.